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Bluffing Do’s and Don’ts

Bluffing can be an integral part to a well-played poker strategy but should not be used for the wrong reasons or delivered in an unskilled and see-through manner. Bluffing is best used in high-stake games rather than low stakes, and should be controlled and executed methodically, not randomly. When you are learning how to play poker bluffing will be one of the later things you learn.

Here are three keys to successful bluffing for when the right opportunity arises.

Choose Your Marks Carefully

You need to select your targets wisely. If you’re in a small stakes game and your opposition is unsophisticated, your bluff will be wasted and go unnoticed. In a small stakes game most players will be too focused on their own cards to pay attention to the finer details of the game, so your bluff will be wasted. The chances are they won’t fold, as they don’t like to fold and so you’re bluff will be unsuccessful. Don’t waste your chips with oppositions that are too focused on their own hands to try reading the board.

Know Your Reason

Bluffing isn’t always the right move to make in a game, so if you don’t have a good reason then don’t attempt it. The man function of bluffing is to keep your opponents on their toes and to always have them questioning whether you really have the winning hand this time or are just buffing again. A good time to bluff could be because the hand that you were trying to coordinate never materialized. Sometimes you can bluff because you can tell that your opponent is weak, but don’t have the right cards in your hand. Bluffing can be great in this situation to weed-out the weak player and place self-doubt in their minds that you have a better hand than them.

Be Believable

Don’t be a teller of tall-tales - know that your bluff is believable before you begin. Pay close attention to your actions before the bluff and make sure that your opponents will find the bluff you’re going to tell believable, or at least question it enough to be hesitant with moves to make.